Outdoor

Is Constant Human Noise Stressing Out Wildlife?

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Noise-tolerant species moved closer to the sites while more sensitive species fled the area.
One site in each pair had a droning compressor while the other was more silent.
Then, over the course of three years, he monitored three cavity-nesting species that used the boxes: the western bluebird, the mountain bluebird, and the ash-throated flycatcher.
Western bluebirds, however, seemed fine with increased noise levels and nested everywhere on the sites.
Nestlings in high-noise areas had smaller body sizes and reduced feather growth.
“A mother bird in a loud box might be leaving the nest box more often and might not be brooding as much so the temperature wavers.” The team also found something unexpected: All the birds nesting in noisy areas had lower baseline levels of corticosterone, a key stress hormone.
“That’s an insight into conservation physiology that his study tightens,” says Kleist.
But any disregulation suggests chronic stress.” There is still a lot to work out about how exactly noise impacts wildlife and human health, but Kleist says there’s mounting evidence that it’s an element policymakers and land managers need to begin thinking about.
It reduces the value of habitats like parks,” he says.
“To make them as valuable and useful as possible to wildlife, we need to consider the impact of noise.”

Advanced Hike: The Baldfaces

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Group: Random Group of Hikers When: Saturday, February 24, 9 am-9 pm Where: Baldface Circle Trail, North Chatham, NH Cost: Free (registration required) Details: We’re going to hike The Baldfaces (3,570 & 3,610ft), two dramatic rocky peaks on the east side of the White Mountains.
This very challenging winter hike involves nearly 4 miles of above treeline travel and will require the use of crampons with front points (along with mountaineering snowshoes and microspikes).
DISTANCE: about 10 miles.
ELEVATION GAIN: 3,700ft.
HIKING TIME is relative.
Plan on a full day of hiking– we may not finish the hike until after sunset–bring TWO headlamps with spare LITHIUM batteries for the cold.
• Put your name on the waitlist if you would like to go.
• No Guests–have your guests sign up and RSVP, please.
• This trip limited to 10 participants to responsibly reduce impacts to habitat, trails, and the experience of other hikers • What the group will expect of you: Humanity humility and cooperation.
You must convey this information to the event organizer in advance AND keep a written summary of it located within an easily accessible part of your backpack.

How America’s Only Native Stork Saved Itself From Extinction

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But if we drew the pond down, mimicking a shallow wetlands, the very next day a hundred storks would be wading through, feeding on fish.” The first emigrants likely landed in Georgia marshes sometime in the ‘80s, because in 1987, former Savannah Coastal Refuges biologist John Robinette noticed scattered stork nests at the 2,762-acre Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge in Georgia’s McIntosh County.
Storks like to nest on islands surrounded by water and populated with alligators, which provide protection from predators like raccoons.
“It helps to have the mafia surrounding you,” jokes Hayes.
That first year, 18 nests produced 43 flying wood stork chicks.
Once the trees got tall enough, the storks totally abandoned the platforms.
Each nest tends to produce two to three chicks, but mortality rate for stork chicks is high.
If wood stork chicks survived at an overall rate of 1.5 per nest, however, scientists were happy.
The Center for Biological Diversity has found that 85 percent of the birds in the United States protected by the Endangered Species Act have been able to slow population dips, or even to increase numbers.” Thanks largely to such efforts, the wood stork now has nesting colonies in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, and has been seen off-season in Alabama and Mississippi.
“We’ve seen new colonies in southwest Georgia, as well as private land near our offices in the city of Savannah, where there are at least 75 nests now, and even at the Savannah-Hilton Head Airport, near a runway.” The wood stork’s story is a heartening one, and it’s part of a broader tale of hope.
The Center for Biological Diversity has found that 85 percent of the birds in the United States protected by the Endangered Species Act have been able to slow population dips, or even to increase numbers—at rates that far surpass those of unprotected birds.

INDUSTRY NEWS | OUTDOOR

REI Drypoint Jacket

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Introducing the next generation of GORE-TEX® technology As the saying goes “there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.” Quality gear can make or break an outdoor adventure and if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably figured this out the hard way.
By harnessing the strength of the most breathable and waterproof three-layer fabric by GORE® to date, the Drypoint GTX® jacket is bringing lightweight durability to a whole new level.
An extension of the co-op’s lighter-weight Flash series, the REI design team created the Drypoint GTX® jacket with a focus on simplicity, so you can move faster on the trail.
Rather than using pit zippers, pockets stand double duty as mesh-lined core vents.
The features in the collection are thoughtful but specific, the lines minimal and purposeful.
The lightweight, soft and incredible breathability of the Active shell technology can be attributed to the addition of the CKnit backer.
REI members from trail runners to dog walkers will benefit from the performance and comfort characteristics of GORE-TEX® Active shell,” said Andy Lovell, fabrics sales at GORE®.
The Drypoint GTX® jacket was inspired by moving on the trail and executed with the help of REI Co-op experts and members—all part of the REI Cooperative Design philosophy.
When asked about the impact co-op members had in the design process, Britt explained: “The Drypoint jackets were informed by delving into our members’ closets and going through their well-loved gear on the floor of their living rooms, and on backpacking trips in all four seasons.
Our members are arguably the design team’s single best resource.” The Drypoint GTX® jacket is part of a new series of REI Co-op brand jackets and pants that utilize the next generation of GORE-TEX® technology.

Drinking Beer in an Emergency?

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Welcome to Ask an Outdoorsman.
Every week, Wes will answer your questions about survival, outdoor skills, and life in the woods.
Ask it on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
If you have no water, but have some other fluid, like coffee or beer, is it better to drink those or nothing?
Their only source of hydration?
Conventional wisdom has it that drinks containing alcohol and caffeine are diuretics: by making you have to pee, you lose more water than you’re consuming.
If that’s true, then drinking beer or coffee in a survival scenario would be a bad idea, as it would only lead to worse dehydration.
72 test subjects in a state of normal hydration were asked to consume one liter of either water, milk, coffee, 4-percent beer, tea, orange juice, Coca-Cola, Powerade, or an oral hydration solution over the span of 30 minutes.
So should you drink beer or coffee if you don’t have any water?
That couple I found in Death Valley should have had, at minimum, a couple of gallons of water in their car.

Hunting and Fishing Icons at Risk

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Badly planned and fast-tracked energy development in places like Wyoming’s Red Desert, or the sprawl of housing, fences, and roads around northern plains communities and cities, could spell the end of the great pronghorn recovery.
The nation’s largest migratory pronghorn herd, 50,000 strong, roams here along with the nation’s only true desert elk herd.
See this place while you can.
The Greater Sage Grouse The greater sage grouse was once an iconic feature of the western sagebrush steppes.
There are still opportunities to hunt these birds, but if their numbers continue to fall, of course, and if the sage grouse becomes federally protected as an endangered species, hunting them will end.
The fact that we have just come to understand that the sage grouse is our big wild canary-in-the-coal-mine of the same American landscape that supports sustainable livestock grazing and some of the best publicly accessible big-game hunting left on the planet.
This is not about whether or not you support mining; the Pebble Project is simply in the wrong place, and no one—not even its former CEO—will say that the operation poses no risk to the fisheries here.
There will be no way to keep our hunting and fishing—our American icons of wilderness and wildlife—if we are not willing to fight for them.
We will be told that we cannot have jobs and energy development if we protect the migration routes of pronghorns, the winter ranges of mule deer, or the dancing grounds of sage grouse.
Take your power from the American landscape and all it holds, and then use that power to make sure it all goes on.

Pet Projects

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Talk about “Bringing the Wild Inside” with Rita’s column on “Going to the Dogs,” where she details 2 projects for your 4-legged friends.
Our canine companions are not exactly WILD, but sometimes while living inside the house with us, it can sure seem like they are not so domesticated!
In this post, we are going to explore a couple of ways to make dogs and their trappings more attractive in your home — along with a couple of DIY projects, such as an attractive dog bed and a hidden bin for toys, treats and mats.
Project #1 is a wine barrel bed made by my Boykin Spaniel friend Mark Reilly.
Or use for Project #2 below.
I also have a Labrador holder stationed by the back door; so, either way, we have leashes at the ready!
They guard several volumes of books on “dogs in art through the ages.” Project #2 is a storage bin made out of the other half of the wine barrel to hold mats, treats and toys.
Mine is actually an antique hand-painted barrel that belonged to my great grandfather and used as a toy bin for my mother when she was a child.
I put mine on rollers and it slips under the coffee table for easy access when the dogs come inside.
Heritage Game Mounts has started a new custom line of sporting dog portraits painted on a mounting board for stag and elk – wouldn’t you like to see your canine friend immortalized?

Elk Habitat in West Virginia, Opinions on Federal Land, and Mistrial in Bundy Family Case

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West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and The Conservation Fund recently announced the conservation of 32,000 acres of reclaimed mines and timber land in the Mountain State, to provide habitat for wildlife including elk, and the people who enjoy them.
The effort results in one of the largest blocks of protected wildlife habitat in West Virginia, according to the Conservation Fund.
The conserved land is in the southern West Virginia, in the state’s elk management zone in Logan, Lincoln and Mingo counties.
Some of the money that went to conserve that land comes from the federal Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Fund.
“These working forest lands have been enrolled in the DNR’s wildlife management area system, where they will be managed to generate high quality wildlife habitat and provide tremendous hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities,” said Gov.
1 reason hunters give up the sport – and that national forests and other public lands offer access for millions of hunters and habitat for deer and a host of other fish and wildlife species.
He argues this would make more money for the government and that decisions about the land would be less “politicized” if those lands were handed over to private industry.
Two words you will not find in Forbes essay are “hunting” and “fishing.” Mistrial in Bundy Family Case in Nevada Federal authorities received yet another major setback in their efforts to prosecute Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his family members, who were charged with conspiracy after an armed standoff over public lands in 2014.
Bundy came to owe more than $1 million in grazing fees, and a federal judge ordered that his cows be taken off public land.
Cliven Bundy, two sons, and another supporter involved were eventually charged with conspiracy in the standoff.

Gear for Sleeping in the Snow

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Here’s everything you need to stay warm, safe, and comfortable during your winter trip into the backcountry.
“I practically lived in this jacket during a week of huddling in snow shelters while ski touring near Breckenridge, Colorado, in single-degree temps, and never felt the cold’s bite,” our tester says.
“I kept my camera and my emergency puffy in the packbag’s separate dry pocket as we trudged through heavy New England snow,” one tester says.
XS-XL Buy Icebreaker BodyfitZONE Base Layers Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Torch 0F Less is more with the Torch, which kept us warm in frigid conditions due to several sleek design features.
A slim mummy shape with rounded shoulders and a narrow footbox eliminates excess weight and keeps the 200 grams of synthetic insulation close to your body.
“Winter camping never appealed to me, because I’m cold enough sleeping outside in the summer,” one tester says.
Aconcagua.” $18; 2.8 oz Buy Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Pad – 1/8″ Native Eyewear Hardtop Ultra XP Sunglasses Bluebird days are great, but don’t let their beauty distract you from protecting your eyes.
; One size Buy Outdoor Research Lumen Ubertube Neckwear UST StormProof Matches / Waterproof Match Case Save your fire steel for summer camping—winter demands gear than can hold up in any weather.
“After a minute of fumbling around, they lit on the first try and burned long enough for my shaking hands to spark the tinder.” $5; 0.7 oz.
Buy Black Diamond HiLight Klean Kanteen Insulated Wide 12 oz.